Shem, The Name

David Mitts

“A good name is to be more desired than great wealth; Favor is better than silver and gold.” (Pro 22:1, NASB) 

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Giving Opportunity Message
"Ackowledge Him in All Your Ways"



One of most important realities of the spirit life is the key of a good name. In the context of the word of God, a name is much more than an identity label. Yeshua unlocks the keys to the kingdom of God based on His name.

““And whatever you ask in My name, this I will do, so that the Father may be glorified in the Son. “If you ask Me anything in My name, I will do it.” (Joh 14:13-14, NASB)

This is a powerful promise, and it has spawned much bizarre behavior, including the name it and claim it doctrine. 

While there is power in the name of Yeshua, kingdom power, we need to approach the name in the right attitude of heart, or we will be in danger of profaning the name.

““And you shall not profane My holy name, but I will be sanctified among the sons of Israel; I am the LORD who sanctifies you,” (Lev 22:32, NASB)

It is very revealing that the main instance of profaning the Name of the Lord came to be through priestly worship.

“Then the LORD spoke to Moses, saying, “Tell Aaron and his sons to be careful with the holy gifts of the sons of Israel, which they dedicate to Me, so as not to profane My holy name; I am the LORD.” (Lev 22:1-2, NASB)

This is how important our tithes and offerings are to the Lord.

Profaning the name is to literally take what is holy about God and His reputation and make it common thereby defiling it. The Hebrew word for profaning is the word Chalal which means to drill a hole in something and ruin its form by doing that. Chalal is the word translated as pierced in Isaiah 53:5

“But He was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him, And by His scourging we are healed.” (Isa 53:5, NAS95)

When we realize that the piercing was a profaning of His Holiness, by treating Him as a common criminal, we realize the degree of humility He took for our freedom! He allowed Himself to be defiled by the piercing of His side. The side was where woman was taken from man and so He is restoring true oneness to the marriage covenant, holiness to matrimony.

“So the LORD God caused a deep sleep to fall upon the man, and he slept; then He took one of his ribs and closed up the flesh at that place. The LORD God fashioned into a woman the rib which He had taken from the man, and brought her to the man. The man said, "This is now bone of my bones, And flesh of my flesh; She shall be called Woman, Because she was taken out of Man." For this reason a man shall leave his father and his mother, and be joined to his wife; and they shall become one flesh. And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed.” (Gen 2:21-25, NAS95)

You might ask, what does this have to do with the Name, the shem? Everything as we will soon see. 

Let’s look at the ancient Hebrew word picture for shem. It is a 2 letter word, The First is the shin which is the symbol for teeth, meaning Sharp, Press, Crush, Eat, Devour, Consume, Fire, Destroy, Remove…. The mem is Water, meaning Blood, Liquid, Massive, Chaos, Raging, Mighty, Living Water; Messiah…. Together they give the picture of the Name, שֵׁם Shem, that which has the power to Destroy the Chaos and Death? 

When we realize that we are in His name, when we are in covenant with Him and that this means we become “echad” or “one” with Him in this covenant, then we realize that we have been translated from the rulership of death and destruction into the rulership of eternal life.

“giving thanks to the Father who has qualified us to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in the light. He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love, in whom we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins.” (Col 1:12-14, NKJV)

Our inheritance in the light is through the name. The name gives us a power of covenant as His beloved. Unlike our contemporary use of a married name, the name in the scriptures is much more than just the label. The name expresses the character of the name bearer. 

God changed the names of Abram to Abraham, Sarai to Sarah and later Jacob to Israel. These were not just new labels but transformed identities with transformed characters.

“No longer shall your name be called Abram, but your name shall be Abraham; for I have made you a father of many nations.” (Gen 17:5, NKJV)

Abram means exalted father which is a single family title. Abraham means that his fatherhood would affect many beyond his biological line. This was the prophetic destiny that included the salvation of the Gentiles the “goyim” which in the Hebrew has the added word natan, which means that are a gift to you. Implied in this transformation is not only the destiny of the Gentiles through the faith of Abraham but also the act of grace that would “gift” them.

In this example we see that the name is much more than even a translation of purpose but also the prophetic power of that purpose.

Now we can get a glimpse into the taking the shem of the Lord in vain.

““You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave him unpunished who takes His name in vain.” (Exo 20:7, NASB)

The Hebrew word for “vain” is the word “shavah”. It is the opposite of the nature of God. It is translated as deceitfulness, or emptiness. It is a character assassination of God who is truth. So, what does it mean to take His Shem into vanity? It means to assign to God that which is of the kingdom of lies.

This was the attack on Yeshua by the Pharisees.

“Now when the Pharisees heard it they said, "This fellow does not cast out demons except by Beelzebub, the ruler of the demons." But Jesus knew their thoughts and said to them: "Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation, and every city or house divided against itself will not stand. If Satan casts out Satan, he is divided against himself. How then will his kingdom stand? And if I cast out demons by Beelzebub, by whom do your sons cast them out? Therefore, they shall be your judges.” (Mat 12:24-27, NKJV)

The devastation and desolation Yeshua is describing is the effect of vanity, shavah. He clues us in that is all about division. You see God is One, undivided, whole. Satan is the accuser, the divider. 

The is the root revelation of the sh’ma.

“Jesus answered him, "The first of all the commandments is: 'HEAR, O ISRAEL, THE LORD OUR GOD, THE LORD IS ONE. AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.' This is the first commandment. And the second, like it, is this: 'YOU SHALL LOVE YOUR NEIGHBOR AS YOURSELF.' There is no other commandment greater than these."” (Mar 12:29-31, NKJV)

This is the revelation of the name, the shem of the Lord. He is echad. He is the author of the covenant. He is the author of love. Those who are in His name likewise have to be echad or one. 

This makes it clear why religion is such an affront to God. Religion is divisive. It takes His name in vain. It makes that which was and is for love into that which is for division.

To be in His name is to be of His character which is love. 

Now we can look at some of the statements of Yeshua and see what they actually mean.

“"Not everyone who says to Me, 'Lord, Lord,' shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he who does the will of My Father in heaven. Many will say to Me in that day, 'Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name?' And then I will declare to them, 'I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!'” (Mat 7:21-23, NKJV)

Lawlessness or iniquity is the byproduct of love growing cold. This is an example of what it means to know the name superficially but not abide in the character of the name. There are some who use the “name” of Jesus but don’t abide in His nature, His character which is love and forgiveness. They have a form of godliness but deny the very power of the cross, that is love.

One last example for today:

"Moreover, if your brother sins against you, go and tell him about his fault between you and him alone. If he hears you, you have gained your brother. But if he will not hear, take with you one or two more, that 'BY THE MOUTH OF TWO OR THREE WITNESSES EVERY WORD MAY BE ESTABLISHED.' And if he refuses to hear them, tell it to the church. But if he refuses even to hear the church, let him be to you like a heathen and a tax collector. "Assuredly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth will be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth will be loosed in heaven. "Again, I say to you that if two of you agree on earth concerning anything that they ask, it will be done for them by My Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered together in My name, I am there in the midst of them."” (Mat 18:15-20, NKJV)

Activation: Putting on His name. There is a saying that clothes make the man. What we wear says a lot about what we value and who we are. The shem of God, the name of Yeshua is a spiritual garment. When we wear His name, it declares whose we are. Meditate on what wearing His name means to you. What might you change about how you treat people? 





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